Friday's Early Headlines
- Senate Passes Financial Reform Bill -- The Senate passed the financial reform bill Thursday evening by a vote of 59-39. The sweeping reform bill will now go to a conference committee for reconciliation with the House of Representatives' measure, which was approved in December. Paul Miller, bank analyst with FBR Capital Markets, said he expects the banks and broker/dealers to react positively on the news as some of the most onerous amendments were not included in the bill, including a tougher ban on prop trading, dubbed the Volcker Rule. "However this is not the end to headline risk, as there will be much speculation in the coming week as to what the final bill will contain," Miller wrote in an email.
- German Bundestag Lower House Approves $1 Trillion Bailout -- Germany's lower house of parliament on Friday approved a European rescue package to contribute to a $937.5 billion debt package to help protect the euro, Reuters reports. The German Bundestag lower house passed the bill with 319 votes in favor, 73 against and 195 abstentions, the report said. The Bundesrat upper house is expected to pass the bill later on Friday.
- FDIC Problem Bank List Grows to 775 -- The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said the number of insured commercial banks and savings institutions on its "Problem List" increased to 775 in the first quarter from 702 at the end of 2009 and 252 at the end of 2008. The FDIC said total assets of "problem" institutions increased from $403 billion to $431 billion.
- Abbott Buys Piramal Unit for $3.72 Billion -- Abbott (ABT) signed a definitive agreement to buy the domestic health care business of Piramal Healthcare, a generics company from India, for $2.12 billion, plus $400 million annually for the next four years. Abbott said the pharmaceutical market in India will generate almost $8 billion in sales in 2010, a number expected to double by 2015.
- Chrysler Could Launch IPO Next Year -- Chrysler might launch its public offering in 2011, CEO Sergio Marchionne told reporters in Toronto Thursday, according to a Reuters report. Marchionne, who also heads Fiat, said he thinks there is "enough appetite" for stock sales by both Chrysler and General Motors in the next 12 to 18 months, the report said. He added he wouldn't mind if GM went first.